Press Release

Transoral Robotics Forge Easier Treatment and Recovery

July 03, 2013

Blood loss is minimized. Hospitalization is shorter. Complications are lower. Swallowing and speaking is quicker. It's truly a win-win for the patient.

-Edward Damrose, MD, Chief, SHC Division of Laryngeal Surgery

John Ayers didn't hesitate to pursue the chemotherapy and radiation recommended to treat his Stage 4 tongue cancer. But something happened after that treatment that typically didn't happen.

You could tell me all you want about the robot, but what's going to make it run is the person. I said to myself, 'This is the man I want to go to because he knows what he's talking about.'

-John Ayers, patient, Stanford Hospital & Clinics

Stanford laryngeal surgeon Edward Damrose, meeting with John Ayers and his wife, Nancy, found a way to use transoral robotic surgery to rid Ayers' throat of enough scar tissue to allow surgery to protect his life from the thyroid cancer and, beyond that, to restore the reliability of his ability to breathe and eat.

It's only a question of a few days before Ayers will have complete freedom to eat. He has in mind a certain brand of hamburger for his first meal. "The most important message I'd like to get out there is that you don't give up," he said. "No matter what anybody says—you don't give up."